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Third Test Wanderers pitch rated ‘poor’ by ICC

Match referee Andy Pycroft rated the Wanderers Stadium pitch as poor' and, as such, it has received three demerit points.

The Wanderers pitch has been rated 'poor' by the International Cricket Council

JOHANNESBURG- The International Cricket Council (ICC) has rated the Bidvest Wanderers pitch used for the third and final Test match between South Africa and India as ‘poor’ and enforced a three-demerit points sanction on the Bullring.

In a statement issued by the ICC stating that the match referee Andy Pycroft rated the Wanderers Stadium pitch as “poor” and, as such, according to the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process, it has received three demerit points.

Pycroft and the two on-field umpires during the match Aleem Dar and Ian Gould suspended play late on day 3, when Proteas Opener Dean Elgar was struck on the helmet by a rising delivery from Indian paceman Jasprit Bumrah.

The match officials cited concerns over the players' safety after numerous batsmen were struck on the body throughout the duration of the match.

The demerit points will remain active for a rolling five-year period and if during this five-year period the Wanderers Stadium reaches the threshold of five demerit points, then it will be suspended from staging any international cricket for 12 months.

Pycroft said the pitch conditions had deteriorated significantly over the course of the match.

“It deteriorated quickly as the match progressed, which made batting extremely difficult and hazardous, resulting in the medical staff from both the sides having to come onto the field of play multiple times to treat their batsmen.

“As the on-field umpires are also responsible for the players’ safety, they expressed concerns about the behavior of the pitch, and debated after day three if it was appropriate to continue the match.

“In the end, the umpires made the decision to continue and the Test reached its natural conclusion on day four. However, there was still excessive variable bounce and seam movement when the Test match ended.”